Board Certification System
Adopted by the Japan Neurosurgical Society

Board certified neurosurgeon

The term Board certified neurosurgeon refers to the physicians who possess a certificate for having undergone a training based on the board certification program established in 1966, having passed the severe examination, and are continuing lifelong learning. Target diseases for neurosurgery include emergency diseases, such as a folk disease, stroke (cerebrovascular disorders) and cranial nerve wounds, brain tumors; functional diseases, such as epilepsy, Parkinsonfs disease, trigeminal neuralgia, facial spasms, and pediatric diseases; and spinal cord, spinal, and peripheral nerve diseases. Board certified neurosurgeon are physicians having comprehensive and specialized knowledge and medical care skills, as well as the ability to properly judge the necessity to transfer patients to other specialists as appropriate for prevention, diagnosis, emergent care, surgery, non-surgical treatment, or rehabilitation of these diseases.

To Be a Board certified neurosurgeon

Board Certification Program of The Japan Neurosurgical Society Previously, undergoing a training at a training hospital (a hospital with two or more Board certified members where 100 or more surgeries are performed per year) was sufficient. However, resident physicians starting the third-year postgraduate training in 2011 must undergo training based on a training program (hospital group) to meet the criteria for eligibility for the examinations and then subsequently pass written and oral examinations.

The Japan Neurosurgical Society Lifelong Learning System for Board certified members Board certified members must continue lifelong learning to maintain the board qualification. To maintain these systems, the Japan Neurosurgical Society Board Certification Committee and its subordinate committees, the Postgraduate/Curriculum Committee and the Lifelong Learning Committee, have been established. The overview is shown below:

1. Overview of the Board Certification Program

(1) Criteria for Eligibility for the Examinations
Applicants must have undergone a given training for at least four years in total based on the training program after two years of a postgraduate clinical training. During this period, applicants must engage only in clinical neurosurgery for at least three years and achieve the target for management/surgical experience of neurosurgical diseases specified by the Postgraduate/Curriculum Committee. The Postgraduate/Curriculum Committee reviews the eligibility.
(2) Training Program
A training program (hospital group) comprises the core hospital, branch hospitals, and related hospitals that perform more than 500 surgeries per year and meet the criteria for the number of physicians, facilities, and training system. It must be smoothly supported by subspecialty societies of the Japan Neurosurgical Society. Approval, renewal, and cancellation of the program are performed by the Board Certification Committee.
(3) Training Physicians
Training physicians (physicians directly training/assessing resident physicians) are examined by the Postgraduate/Curriculum Education Committee, and the certificate is renewed every five years.
(4) Board Certification Examination
A written examination and an oral examination are held once a year. In the written examination, 250 questions regarding neurosurgery are on the examination in total to examine specialized knowledge and judgment. Applicants who pass the examination proceed to the oral examination, in which 9 actual cases are provided in total (e.g., symptoms, diagnostic images, and interoperative photographs of patients actually treated), and the tester asks a question about each of the cases to assess the applicantfs practical skill for medical care, such as diagnosis, therapeutic strategy, and surgery. The results of the board certification examination and some of the exam questions are shown on the page for Board certified members. The examination pass rate has been approximately 70% during these several years.

2. Overview of the Board Certified Members Lifelong Learning System

Board certified members are obligated to keep on learning latest knowledge and techniques even after being certificated, and the certificate must be renewed every five years. The Lifelong Learning Committee adopted the credit registration system, which scores learning and research activities for assessment.

Activities approved for credit
- Participation in or presentation at an academic meeting
- Publication of a paper on an academic journal
In addition, Board certified members must attend a training program in medical ethics, medical safety, medical accidents, and medical jurisprudence approved by the Japan Neurosurgical Society at least once during the five-year certification period.

3. Board certified neurosurgeon Across Japan

Approximately 7,622 Board certified neurosurgeon are currently registered (as of September 2016).